Protection assured for IPs who 'escaped' from Davao church compound

By Lilian Mellejor

May 22, 2019, 7:42 pm

DAVAO CITY -- The Army’s 10th Infantry Division (10ID) assured the safety of the 31 members of the Ata-Manobo tribe who returned home after reportedly escaping from the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) Haran Compound in Madapo Hills, this city, as they reintegrate with their communities.

Capt. Jerry Lamosao, 10ID spokesperson, said the military will provide them the necessary protection. He also encouraged them to communicate with the government when necessary.

During Wednesday's AFP-PNP press briefing at the Royal Mandaya Hotel, Lamosao said the IPs were safely transported to their communities in Barangay Gupitan, Kapalong town in Davao del Norte on Tuesday after a case conference with government agencies.

He said the government will continue to help the IPs, along with the local government of Kapalong and government agencies, such as Department of Social Welfare and Development.

Lamosao said the IPs were given their basic needs, as well as psycho-social intervention, and will, later on, be provided with livelihood assistance.

The Kapalong local police reported that the IPs, accompanied by personnel of the Army’s 60th Infantry Battalion, arrived in the municipality last Saturday.

Of the 31 rescued, 10 are of legal age and 21 are minors. The youngest are two children aged two years, while the oldest is 55 years old.

They were also brought to the Davao del Norte District Hospital-Kapalong Zone for a medical and physical examination before they were turned over to the local social welfare officials.

They have been secured by the 60th Infantry Battalion since their reported escape from UCCP Haran on Saturday with the help of some tribal leaders and the Kapalong local government. (PNA)